The Madison Fire Department may make changes to its health programs and policies as federal officials plan to investigate the death of one of the department’s members.
Firefighter and paramedic Richard Garner, 29, died earlier this year of a heart attack after a 48-hour shift, the Wisconsin State Journal reported .
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will likely come to Madison within the next few months to begin investigating Garner’s death as part of a national review of unexplained deaths of young firefighters, said Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis.
“In talking to the doctors at NIOSH, what they’ve found is there’s been six or seven fatalities in fire departments across the country in about a six-month period that were identical to (Garner’s), where a firefighter … came home from work” and died, Davis said.
The fire department is looking into ways it can prevent job-related health problems or deaths. Changes could potentially come to the department’s wellness programs, fitness testing policies and shift scheduling.
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